Heavy metal fractionation in Fluvic Entisols under saline conditions in Northeastern Brazil

Maria Eugenia Ortiz Escobar, Esdras Rocha da Silva, Teogenes Senna de Oliveira, Fernando Felipe Ferreyra Hernandez


The long-term use of agrichemicals might add some heavy metals to soils and, there is little information about the dynamics of these elements in soils under saline conditions in semiarid regions. This study aimed to investigate the dynamics of heavy metals in the different fractions of Fluvic Entisols with saline conditions under long term of coconut cultivation in a semiarid region. Composite soil samples were collected in five agricultural areas and three areas under native vegetation. Physical, chemical, and heavy metal analyses were carried out in soil (semi total and fractionated contents). Quality of irrigation water and drainage water was also evaluated. Analytical results were normalized and subjected to analysis of variance, and means were compared by Scott-Knott test (P < 0.05). Pearson correlation analysis was also used to assure a minimum correlation of variables justifying its use in the matrix of a factorial analysis. Semi-total contents of Cr, Ni, Pb and Zn (except Cu in some areas) were lower than previous local assessment and national guiding values, indicating that they do not cause harmful alterations in soil quality. Analyses of waters showed high levels of HCO3, indicating moderate restriction to use (due to the high levels of EC, SAR, Na and Cl). Fractionation of heavy metals revealed low risk of environmental pollution since most metal contents were bound to the oxidic, organic and residual fractions. The water used in irrigation contributes to the contents of heavy metals and to the salinity condition of the evaluated soils.


Speciation. Trace elements. Salinity. Soil quality. Semiarid Brazil.

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